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Downtown Eastside artists showcase their work at the Cultch May 29 to June 9

May 29, 2013

Members of the public will get a glimpse of life on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastide (DTES) throught the eyes of its resident artists at a visual arts exhibit starting May 29 at the Cultch, 1895 Venables Street in Vancouver.

May 28, 2013 — Members of the public will get a glimpse of life on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) through the eyes of its resident artists at a visual arts exhibit starting May 29 at the Cultch, 1895 Venables Street in Vancouver.

Co-sponsored by Vancouver Foundation and Carnegie Community Centre, the DTES Small Arts Grants (SM’ARTS) Visual Arts Celebration will showcase the work of 18 emerging DTES artists from May 29 to June 9.

Projects on display will cover a variety of media, including, oil paintings, mixed media collage, dolls, woodburnt plate and bowl, ceramics, photography, pen and ink illustration, acrylic paintings, clay sculpture, acrylic with mixed media, acrylic with oil pastel, gouache and pen on wood, photo collage and digital art.

Exhibiting artists are sponsored through Vancouver Foundation’s Small Arts Grants program, which funded 71 individual artists this year with grants of up to $1,000 each to develop their artistic and business practice.

“Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is a hotbed of artistic activity, but many artists in this neighbourhood lack the financial means to take their work to the next level,” said Faye Wightman, President and CEO of Vancouver Foundation.  “The DTES Small Arts Grants program plays an essential role in supporting artists who face challenges in developing their art practice. This program has become an important building block for nurturing the rich and vibrant talent that exists in the heart of the thriving DTES arts community.”

Modeled after the Foundation’s highly successful Neighbourhood Small Grants program, the DTES Small Arts Grants program supports a variety of artists at different stages of their career, and who may not have access to other sources of funding.  Grants of $500 to $1,000 are provided to help artists advance their careers, expand their portfolios and showcase their work.

The May 29 SM’ARTS opening reception at the Cultch is open to the public. Members of the media are welcome to attend and advance interviews are available with the following DTES artists:

Venus Soberanes

Venus Soberanes is a visual artist, experimental filmmaker and Expressive Arts Therapist with a major in Film Production from Concordia University in Montreal, a major in painting from the National Center for the Arts in Mexico City, and a post-graduate diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy from Langara College in Vancouver.  Her visual work is deeply personal, inspired by her life experiences and her night-time dreams. Her film and video pieces have screened at national and international film festivals, and her photography and visual art works have been displayed in collective and individual exhibitions in Canada and Mexico City.

Salvador Perez

Salvador Perez is a self-taught ceramics artist from Mexico, who has maintained an active studio practice working with a variety of materials since a young age.  He is influenced by the work of Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso and inspired by social issues and painful traumas.  Currently, Salvador produces his artwork at a variety of community centres throughout Vancouver.  He works part-time for JustPotters, where he is in charge of preparing glazes as well as glazing all of the ceramics.

Priscillia Tait

Priscillia Tait is a devoted mother from the wet’suwet’en  territory of the Tsyu (Beaver) clan.  In 2009, she began exploring digital art as part of the Downtown Eastside “Out of the Rain” project.  In 2013, she was able to continue this work with the help of the DTES Small Arts Grant Program. Her current work consists of a life-sized outline of her body, containing within it photographic images describing her life journey from her early roots to the present.  One side displays mostly family connections, while the other shows community involvement.

With almost 1,500 funds, and assets of more than $814 million, Vancouver Foundation is Canada’s largest community foundation. Since it was founded in 1943, Vancouver Foundation, in partnership with its donors, has distributed more than $917 million to thousands of community projects and programs.

For more information
Vancouver Foundation Communications

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